What Churches Need to Know About the New FEMA Disaster Aid Process
What Churches Need to Know About the New FEMA Disaster Aid Process
A breakdown of the options churches now have access to for disaster protection and relief.
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Public Assistance Program

Houses of worship and private, faith-based nonprofits are now also eligible for FEMA’s Public Assistance (PA) Program if their facilities are damaged in a storm that receives a presidential declaration of disaster. This program provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged facilities of private, non-profit organizations.

Applying for this type of assistance requires submitting an application to the state through the new Grants Manager portal within 30 days of the presidential declaration of disaster. This application package includes a Request for Public Assistance form, evidence of federal tax-exempt status, pre-disaster evidence of incorporation/charter/bylaws, and a Data Universal Number Systems number established with the government, in addition to supporting documentation establishing ownership of the building, proof of use, and proof of insurance.

What’s essential to note, however, is that unless they are providing critical services (emergency, medical, utility, irrigation/water supply, custodial care, or educational), most non-profits and houses of worship will need to first go through the SBA Disaster Loan application process before they are eligible for the PA program. FEMA will not consider applications until the SBA decision is rendered.

Posted: February 27, 2018

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